A Mirror for Remembering is a virtual reality artwork that explores the complexities and growing necessity to address the preservation and permanence of the digital artefacts that form an increasing part of our everyday lives.
Taking you on a journey through a series of immersive 3D environments comprising stylised digital scans of historic museum objects, the artwork encourages audiences to consider how both physical and digital artefacts are not static: they bring stories to life, are continuously changing, decomposing, and require specialised care. This commission has been made possible through the generous support of the Arts Council England funded Kent Medway Museums National Portfolio Organisation and utilises the extensive collections held by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
What do we save in an age of big data, who should make these choices, and how will these choices alter perception of culture for future generations? 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube alone and daily ‘fake news’ stories are propagated mostly unchallenged throughout the media and across social media while culturally important digital artefacts and resources regularly disappear through technical failure and lack of funding and support. “A Mirror For Remembering” explores these urgent issues through the lens of challenges faced by physical museums in the age of digital artefacts.Alex May
- Royal College of Art talk with Alex May and Anna Dumitriu – May 11, 2023Alex May and Anna Dumitriu gave a talk about their recent and current collaborations at the Royal College of Art in London.
- WeMissIPRES: A Mirror For Remembering – September 21, 2020Alex May will be introducing his virtual reality artwork A Mirror For Remembering at WeMissIPRES organised by the Digital Preservation Coalition.
- A Mirror For Remembering trailer on Oculus experiences – July 29, 2020The two-minute 3D/360 VR video trailer for A Mirror For Remembering is now featured on the official Oculus website.
- Talk: Digital Arts Practice in the time of the Pandemic – July 20, 2020Alex May will preview new work in response to the pandemic lock down, exploring the opportunities and drawbacks of dissemination of digital arts online.
- A Mirror For Remembering: Free 3D Assets – June 30, 2020Several of the 3D scans for ‘A Mirror For Remembering’ are now available on Sketchfab for free.
- Computer Arts Society talk (video) – April 7, 2020Alex May gave an online talk for the Computer Arts Society introducing “A Mirror For Remembering”
- Engagement with Virtual Reality – March 23, 2020A fascinating write-up from the recent outreach sessions for Alex’s VR artwork ‘A Mirror For Remembering’
Artwork Technical Details
The artwork is a 3D, 360 degree video (duration 9:50) that is designed to be experienced through a Virtual Reality (VR) headset including Oculus, and Vive, or on a mobile phone supporting a stereoscopic viewer such as Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.
It features a soundtrack with voice-over (currently in English only) that takes the viewer through the various scenes of the video.
The experience is a perfect introduction to virtual reality for people who have never tried it before and avoids any motion sickness or sudden changes, allowing all visitors to be fully immersed in the message of the work.
A Mirror For Remembering has its own website at http://amirrorforremembering.com/